Get started with your Rancilio Silvia Pro. In this manual, you should find everything you need to operate and maintain your dual boiler espresso machine.
- Double spouted portafilter
- Single basket (7g)
- Double basket (18g)
- Group head brush
- Rubber backflush disc
- Stainless steel tamper
- Cleaning tablets
- Softening pouch
- Coffee scoop
Espresso machines have specific requirements when it comes to water. There are two primary considerations: filtration and hardness.
Filtration gets rid of tiny particles, such as sand or rust, in your water. If these particles were allowed to enter your machine they could cause all manner of trouble, specifically by clogging the small valves and other parts in your espresso machine. Almost any water filter will do the job, whether it’s the one built into your fridge, a Brita, or a whole house filter. Ensuring that this filter is replaced in proper time will be important to ensure machine health.
Water hardness is equally important. First, use the water hardness test strips included with your machine to test the water you plan to use with your machine. Ideally, we want a hardness of between 35-85 ppm (parts per million). Hardness refers to the dissolved solids or mineral content in your water. Common dissolved solids are things like magnesium, calcium, and various forms of sodium. These dissolved solids are what make water, and therefore espresso, taste good. But an excess will result in scale buildup inside your machine. Scale can cause irreparable damage to your machine by clogging and forming a mineralized layer over the surface of metal parts. The process of descaling is even more damaging, eating away at the machine’s metal internals. Luckily, scale can be entirely avoided by keeping your water hardness within the recommended TDS range of 35-85 ppm.
There are numerous methods to soften your water if the mineral content has tested to be too high for your machine.
- A Note on RO (Reverse Osmosis) or Distilled Water
Taste aside, espresso machines require some mineral content in order to function properly. Their steam boiler fill probes, in particular, use the conductivity of water to detect the water level. With no dissolved solids, they’ll overfill, giving you water instead of steam. You must add some mineral content back in. Our recommendation is Third Wave Water packets which are designed to offer ideal flavor and to be safe for your machine.
- Reservoir Solutions
Our first recommendation is a simple in-tank water softening pouch. They’re affordable, last 4-6 months, and are very effective. Using RO water purchased by the gallon in combination with Third Wave Water packets is another great option.
No matter what solution you pick we recommend testing the water coming from your machine’s group head every few months. City water hardness changes seasonally and softening systems wear out. Quarterly testing will ensure you keep your machine safe.
- First Time Setup with Reservoir
To begin, simply fill the reservoir with your filtered and softened water, leaving a few inches at the top to prevent spillage. Ensure that you do not spill water on top of the machine when filling, as this may cause electrical damage. When filling the reservoir verify that the rubber/plastic water intake line is arranged such that it is fully submerged and touches the bottom of the reservoir.
Once your reservoir is filled, you can now turn on your machine with the power button located on the left side of the machine. After the boilers have filled, you’ll want to pull some water through your brew boiler and group head. Press either shot button on the front panel to activate the pump. Once at least 4 ounces of water has run through the group head, push the same button used before to stop the pump and insert your portafilter. At this point, you’ll have used most of the water in the reservoir. We’d recommend refilling your reservoir again to avoid running out of water.
Programming the PID
The Silvia Pro features a PID which allows for exact control over boiler temperature. During the initial bench test process, our techs have programmed your machine to be ready to use, but it is simple to change at home if you choose to. To adjust the brew temperature press either the + or - button to select your ideal temperature. To save this setting push the shot button below the display.
There are a variety of other settings also accessible within the PID. To enter the options menu press and hold the + and - button for 3 seconds. This will change the display to read T2, pressing the + button again will cycle through the settings menu. Once you reach the option you wish to edit click the shot button. We've put together a list of the various menu codes for you to come back to anytime:
- T1 - Coffee boiler temperature
- T2 - Steam boiler temperature
- F.01 - Clean the group head
- F.02 - Programmable start time
- F.03 - Empty the coffee boiler
- F.04 - Empty the steam boiler
- F.05 - Programmable stop times
- F.06 - Change display to F or C
- F.07 - Select main voltage (120v or 230v)
Now you're ready to start pulling shots! Check out our Espresso 101 section to learn about steaming milk, latte art, our suggested starter espresso recipe, grinder dial-in tips, and much more.
Still have questions? Reach out to our coffee experts and technicians.